Practice management is both an art and a science for many accounting firms. The art is in the implementation of new methodologies and ideas and the science lies in the hard data, which must support the decision to go ahead with them.
It is not uncommon for firms to lack the strategic insights necessary to have a full picture of their practice’s operations from an efficiency, productivity and client service perspective.
Adopting the right practice management strategy is critically important to overcoming these deficiencies. Otherwise, your firm will face challenges in achieving short- and long-term financial and operational goals often evidenced by these key indicators:
No. 1 — Your firm operates without any clear ROI-based, measurable goals
Consultant Peter Drucker famously said, “What is measured gets managed.” When applied to the practice management of your firm, if you do not have clear goals on which to assess areas that may need improvement it is impossible to maximize the potential of your firm.
The antidote? Create and track key performance indicators (KPIs) that are meaningful and measurable, so you get a true picture of how your firm is performing. The only way to obtain this kind of data is to obtain it from practice management software that automatically aggregates it.
No. 2 — You cannot monitor the performance of your team or your firm’s overall productivity in real-time
If this is the case for your firm, it indicates that a time and billing platform should be implemented. If your CPAs still rely on handwritten notes, filing cabinets, and excel spreadsheets to handle time and billing it is time for a more robust time and billing tool, such as Mango Practice Management. Implementing this type of technology can help your firm save time, invoice more accurately, streamline workflows and make more profitable decisions for the future.
No. 3 — Your costs per client engagement are too high, yet client retention is becoming an issue
A key KPI to track and measure for your firm is the cost per engagement as it compares against that of similar firms, as well as your firm’s own goals for its profit margin. If your team is spending too many billable hours on client work without being compensated appropriately for it, you need to know and understand why. This is where using a practice management platform with an integrated time and billing suite can help you reverse negative profitability trends.
No. 4 — Your team is having trouble staying on task and cannot easily provide status updates to clients
Building on the point above, if your team does not have the capability (or directive to track the progress of each client engagement through your firm’s workflow, it will be nearly impossible to provide timely updates to clients on the status of their project or for you , as the CEO of your own practice, to be able to have an instant read of what each member of your team’s capacity is.
Want to learn more? Join Tim Sines in his webinar: “How to Overcome Inefficiencies to Build a Modern Accounting Firm,” June 16, 2 pm (EST) REGISTER HERE
No. 5 — Your clients are still emailing documents and sensitive information to your firm
Given the amount and sensitivity of client and third-party information that must pass through your firm and be handled by your staff, the risk and vulnerability that your firm faces, especially amid the growing and real threats of cybersecurity and data breaches, is real. If your firm has not already adopted a practice management protocol around secure document handling via the use of client portal and e-signature for completely digital client engagement acceptance and form signing, now is the time to consider leveraging technology such as a Mango Practice Management to create a practice workflow which is as secure and seamless as possible.
For many firms, relying too heavily on instincts and the “art” of practice management without a solid foundation of analytical data means that they are missing out on the benefits of having a truly strategic approach to growing their firm, maximizing staff productivity and delivering the best possible client experience.
Mango Practice Management, a web-based time and billing software application can help you gain these insights with functionality that includes time tracking, expense tracking, invoicing, reporting, client portals, and e-payments for fast cash collections, as well as firm- wide scheduling, due date management, document management, secure file sharing, plus much more.
Ask yourself if your firm is experiencing any of the above indicators. If so, now is the time to consider implementing a more comprehensive practice management system to help you overcome these limitations and provide the strategic practice management insights that will drive your firm forward and create a foundation for sustainable success.